Injury to the spinal cord causes paralysis, loss of sensation and can disrupt bladder and bowel function. The actual difficulties experienced depend on the location of the injury along the spinal cord and the extent of this injury.
If located in the neck, the injury can result in tetraplegia or quadriplegia, affecting movement and sensation in all limbs, as well as potentially, difficulty in breathing and swallowing. Spinal cord injuries to the back, excluding the neck, result in paraplegia that affects the lower body only.
Spinal cord injuries can be complete or partial, as follows:
Complete spinal cord injury: This is where the individual is completely paralysed below the location of the injury. It’s associated with no feelings of pain, pressure, sensation or temperature in the affected part of the body.
Incomplete spinal cord injury: This is where there is partial loss in sensation and movement, below the location of the injury, due to the spinal cord being partially damaged, not severed as in a complete spinal cord injury.
Individuals suffering from a spinal cord injury, therefore, can experience the following problems:
Depending on the severity of your injury, we can create a treatment plan that focuses on improving your quality of life and independence. This may include sitting, standing and walking or it may include managing your pain, spasticity and posture or strengthening weak muscles. Whatever your needs, we will design a plan that is tailored to your exact requirements and aimed at achieving your goals.